*Please meet our new Youth Miister, Amanda Binghi!

Hello Parishioners of St. Matthew’s,

I am very excited to be here with you and to serve as Youth Minister for the young people of St. Matthew’s. I have a love for youth ministry, art, nature, and for our Church.

I recently graduated from the University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford, CT, with a Bachelor's degree in Social Work.  In college, I organized a campus ministry group called Catholic Hearts to build a community of faith. 

 For my Senior Year internship, I created and facilitated a youth ministry program at St. Justin-St. Michael Parish in Hartford, CT.   In summer 2017, I served at Lifeteen Camp Hidden Lake in Dahlonega, Georgia, as a Summer Missionary, as well as this past summer as Assistant to Camp Programs at St. Therese Catholic Camp in Wasilla, Alaska.

 My experiences in youth ministry were filled with joy as I journeyed with other young people as they got to know  Jesus and feel God’s love. My favorite parts about serving at Catholic summer camps were:  creating the fun environment where there are all sorts of outdoor activities and games for the campers; being a part of a community of   other young adults who love God; helping to show campers the beauty of our Catholic faith through attending Mass everyday together; going to Eucharistic Adoration; praying together; sharing stories about the Saints; and receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

 Youth ministry is all about meeting young people where they are in their faith journey.  It is finding ways to invite young people closer to Jesus through learning more about the Church, establishing a connection to the Sacraments, encouraging a life of prayer, and being a part of a Christ-centered community. Through holy friendships and authentic relationships, we will draw many young souls back to the Catholic Church, and most importantly, to Jesus' Heart.  Within a Christ-centered community, a young person can realize the joy of being close to Jesus through the witness of other young people striving to follow Jesus and to live a vibrant, Catholic life. 

 Through my work with teenagers and young adults in ministry, I have learned the importance of bringing fun and friendship into the meetings and community. We all want to belong. We all want good friends.  Therefore social activities can create the space where teens can build healthy relationships with each other and the church, thus helping them grow in their faith journey with the support from their peers and church community. 

 My ministry flows out of a commitment to daily Mass and prayer. I desire to lead young people closer to Jesus, in all that I do.

 In our youth ministry program, I hope to create a weekly event for the teens of the parish where we can build community, grow friendships, learn about our faith together, and pursue a life close to Jesus in the Eucharist. 

 Thank you very much, and I look forward to getting to know you all!

 Amanda Binghi